Equatorial Guinea is known for traditional sculpture and mask making.
Don Leandro Mbomio Nsue (1932-2012) was one of the most famous sculptors and artists of Equatorial Guinea. Mbomio carried out his basic studies at the School of Arts and Crafts of Bata, before moving to Spain, where he continued his training in Madrid and Barcelona. In the first decades of his life, he was associated with international artistic and intellectual personalities such as Pablo Picasso, with whom he shared a great friendship.
He was known throughout the world as “the black Picasso” for his unique creativity, which led him to showcase his art internationally. Besides being undoubtedly the most universal of Equatorial Guinean artists, Mbomio was also a cosmopolitan intellectual who participated in some of the most important artistic, social and cultural movements of the century. He was also a former minister of Education in Equatorial Guinea country. In October 2007 Mbomio was nominated as an Ambassador for Peace by UNESCO.
His sculptures and paintings are distributed in museums and art galleries around the world, especially in Spain, where he carried out much of his youth work and where he maintained one of his studios.
Equatorial Guinea has also some significant art institutions and galleries. The Museum of Modern Art in Malabo shows works of traditional and contemporary art from all over Africa and has pieces of some of the most prestigious artists in the region. The Museum aims to improve understanding and appreciation of the different peoples and cultures of Africa through art. It also aims to provide support and training for a new generation of artists, not only offering them a space to exhibit, but also giving them the opportunity to work with other institutions around the world.